Making rolled beeswax candles is an easy way to create beautiful natural candles. And children love to help! These sheets can be cut into any shape–you are only limited to your imagination. We usually make simple rolled candles with our children and this tutorial will cover this method.
We purchase our beeswax sheet locally at Earth Guild. The sheets we purchase measure 8 1/2 by 16 3/4. You will also need candle wick which comes in many sizes. We use #360 for our rolled candles.
Beeswax sheets are very delicate and must be treated with care. Extreme temperatures can be damaging to them so it is important to avoid very cold (they might crack) or very warm (they might melt) temperatures. You will notice in the photograph of our sheet that two of the corners have minor damage.
We cut our sheets in half width-wise so each sheet makes two rolled candles. I find this size fits easiest into most standard candle holders. Cut the sheets with a large knife not with scissors as they can damage the beeswax.
It is important to warm your sheet slightly before manipulating it unless you are working in a really warm space. We usually use a hair dryer to gently warm them during the colder winter months–but not too much or they will melt! Be sure to use the low setting on your hair dryer and hold the dryer a couple feet from the beeswax sheet. The sheets are covered in little hexagons. You want these to remain when heating them.
After gently heating the beeswax sheets, lay them flat in front of you. Cut your wick into pieces that are about 2 inches longer than your sheets of beeswax. Lay the wick on the very edge of the sheet, placing the wick so it hangs out about an inch on each end. With great care, fold the edge over the wick. I usually tell the children a story about their little wick man and how it is time to tuck him into bed for the rest of the winter. Guide your child to very gently press the sheet of beeswax. Again, we want the hexagons to remain–this is a good way to make sure you aren’t using too much force. For smaller children, I would recommend doing this step for them as they can damage the wax without much effort.
After this initial fold, gently *roll* the beeswax up the remainder of the way. It is important to roll the sheet as tightly as you are able without damaging the wax (remember to watch the hexagons!). It is okay if they aren’t rolled perfectly; however, a loosely rolled candle will burn much faster. When they children are making candles with me I don’t expect perfection and I realize that the candles might be looser than desired. Most importantly, they burn and the children love to see their candles being used!
The final step is to trim the wick. Figure out which end will be the top. I usually choose the end that is more tightly rolled or the end that tends to be convex instead of concave. Trim the wick down to about 1/2 to 1/4 inch. Trim all the excess off the bottom end.